[Answered] How Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme has been beneficial for India in meeting the diverse needs of its population and ensuring balanced, equitable, and inclusive growth?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain how Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme has been beneficial for India in meeting the diverse needs of its population and ensuring balanced, equitable, and inclusive growth.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

The primary aim of the Direct Benefit Transfer program is to bring transparency and terminate theft from the distribution of funds. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme as a “logistical marvel” that has reached hundreds of millions of people and specifically benefitted women, the elderly, and farmers.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme has been beneficial for India in meeting the diverse needs and ensuring balanced, equitable, and inclusive growth in following manner:

  • Financial inclusion: Government endeavoured to open bank accounts for all households, expanded Aadhaar to all, and scaled up the coverage of banking and telecom services. Also, Last mile banking through Bank Mitras.
  • Assistance programmes: Various scholarship schemes and the National Social Assistance Programme use the DBT architecture to provide social security.
  • Rehabilitation schemes: DBT under rehabilitation programs such as the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers opens new frontiers that enable social mobility of all sections of society.
  • Aadhaar Payment Bridge: It evolved the Public Finance Management System and created the Aadhaar Payment Bridge to enable instant money transfers from the government to people’s bank accounts.
  • Participation of various stakeholders: The Aadhaar-enabled Payment System and Unified Payment Interface further expanded interoperability and private-sector participation.
  • Directly receiving of subsidies: This approach not only allowed all rural and urban households to be uniquely linked under varied government schemes for receiving subsidies directly into their bank accounts but also transferred money with ease.
  • DBT applicable to government schemes: Becoming the major plank of the government’s agenda of inclusive growth, it has 318 schemes of 53 central ministries spanning across sectors, welfare goals and the vast geography of the country.
  • Rural areas: DBT has allowed the government to provide financial assistance effectively and transparently to farmers with lower transaction costs be it for fertilisers or any of the other schemes including the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, PM Fasal Bima Yojana, and PM Krishi Sinchayi Yojana.
  • Urban areas:  PM Awas Yojana and LPG Pahal scheme successfully use DBT to transfer funds to eligible beneficiaries.
  • During Pandemic:  From free rations to nearly 80 crore people under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, fund transfers to all women Jan Dhan account holders and support to small vendors under PM-SVANidhi.

Direct Benefit Transfer has transformed the welfare aspect of the governance. Digital and financial literacy, robust grievance redressal and an empowering innovation system should also improve.

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